Sniping Pirates

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The captain held in a lifeboat by pirates off the coast of Somalia has been rescued by the US Navy after snipers took out his captors. CNN reports:

U.S. Navy snipers fatally shot three pirates holding an American cargo-ship captain hostage after seeing that one of the pirates “had an AK-47 leveled at the captain’s back,” a military official said Sunday.

The three pirates, who were armed with AK-47 rifles, were killed by shooters who were aboard the Bainbridge, Gortney said.

The on-scene commander gave the shooters approval to open fire after seeing that “one of the pirates had an AK-47 leveled at the captain’s back,” Gortney said.

That is some incredible shooting!

Earlier this year a team of Marine Scout Snipers were deployed to the region for counter piracy work. They are armed with the SR-25 (Mk 11) 7.62x51mm semi-automatic, an AR-10 style rifle. They may well have been the men that were deployed to take out the pirates.

A scout sniper fires an MK-11 rifle from a HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter

Hat Tip: Snow Flakes in Hell

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 23 comments
  • The photographer The photographer on Jun 27, 2009

    These Marine Snipers did a lot of training before this mission I'm not sure I'm a liberty to say what we did before but I can say first hand that the Mk11 is accurate up to 800+ yards obviously that changes when in a hoovering helicopter and small dinger refusing to stop. And the comment about the water being calm that time of year couldn't be more wrong while patroling we couldn't find any pirates because the seas were so rough they went into port.

  • Lance Lance on Jul 09, 2009

    Dont forget Marine and Navy marksmen also use M-21 or M-14s for long range shots too.